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Outside-of-school time obesity prevention and treatment interventions in African American youth

05 Sep 2014

Summary

Outside-of-school time (OST; i.e. before/after-school hours, summer time), theory-based interventions are potential strategies for addressing increased obesity among African American youth. This review assessed interventions across multiple settings that took place during OST among African American youth aged 5–18 years old. Seven databases were searched for studies published prior to October 2013; 28 prevention and treatment interventions that assessed weight or related behaviours as a primary or secondary outcome were identified. Overall, these studies reported heterogeneous intervention length, theoretical frameworks, methodological quality, outcomes, cultural adaption and community engagement; the latter two attributes have been identified as potentially important intervention strategies when working with African Americans. Although not always significant, generally, outcomes were in the desired direction. When examining programmes by time of intervention (i.e. after-school, summer time, time not specified or multiple time periods), much of the variability remained, but some similarities emerged. After-school studies generally had a positive impact on physical activity, fruit/vegetable consumption and caloric intake, or body composition. The single summer time intervention showed a trend towards reduced body mass index. Overall findings suggest that after-school and summer programmes, alone or perhaps in combination, offer potential benefits for African American youth and could favourably influence diet and physical activity behaviour.

Date: 
5 September 2014

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Obesity Reviews